Zach Parise

It’s Minnesota Wild day on PHT


Throughout the month of August, PHT will be dedicating a day to all 30 NHL clubs. Today’s team? The Minnesota Wild.

Last season was a great one as far as Wild fans should be concerned. The team returned to the playoffs after a four-year absence. Their offseason acquisitions (Zach Parise and Ryan Suter) had big seasons as Parise led the team in scoring and Suter was a Norris Trophy-caliber player.

As far as Wild management is concerned, last season was the first step towards eventually bringing a Stanley Cup to Minnesota. They’ve got a host of young players with sky-high potential and a taste for what the postseason is like. Can they make another step forward this season or was last year a fortunate turn of events because of a shortened schedule?

Offseason recap

For a team that made the postseason, the Wild had a bit of an overhaul this summer. Out went Devin Setoguchi (traded to Winnipeg) and Cal Clutterbuck was sent to the Islanders for young hopeful Nino Niederreiter.

In free agency, forwards Matt Cullen (Nashville) and Pierre-Marc Bouchard (Islanders) headed elsewhere while Matt Cooke, Keith Ballard, and Jonathon Blum jumped on board. The Cooke signing created some anxiety with Wild fans and columnists as they parted ways with the popular Clutterbuck to bring a guy with a bad reputation on board.

Free agency isn’t where the sparks for this team will come from as they’ve got young guys like Charlie Coyle, Mikael Granlund, Jason Zucker, and rookie phenom Jonas Brodin to help carry them forward. At least, that’s what coach Mike Yeo hopes for.


Introducing: PHT’s ‘Team of the Day’ summer series

Report: Islanders cut first-rounder Barzal from camp

Mathew Barzal
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It seems Mathew Barzal has played in his last game in a New York Islanders’ uniform for a little while.

Barzal took part in the Islanders’ preseason finale against the Washington Capitals on Sunday, but after that contest the Islanders decided to return him to WHL Seattle, per Newsday’s Arthur Staple.

He was taken with the 16th overall pick in 2015 NHL Entry Draft. That selection was well-traveled as it originally belonged to the Pittsburgh Penguins, but was involved in the David Perron trade and then moved to the Islanders as part of Edmonton’s deal to get Griffin Reinhart.

Barzal is noteworthy for his skill and speed, but he may have slipped in the draft due to a knee injury he sustained during the 2014-15 campaign.

The Islanders also reassigned Kirill Petrov, Kevin Czuczman, Scott Mayfield, and Adam Pelech to the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

Torres offered in-person hearing, potentially setting up long suspension

Torres hit

What will Raffi Torres get this time?

The 33-year-old forward that has become known primarily for his controversial hits has once again put himself in the sights of the NHL’s Department of Players Safety. They confirmed that he was offered an in-person hearing following his hit on Jakub Silfverberg Saturday night. He declined the opportunity to meet with them face-to-face, but the offer itself is an important detail because it gives the league the option to suspend him for more than five games.

It certainly seems like the stage is set for a lengthy suspension. While Torres is not considered a repeat offender as his last suspension came more than 18 months ago, the NHL still retains the right to consider his history when deciding on this matter.

Among other incidents, he was once was banned from 25 games for his hit on Marian Hossa in 2012, although it was later reduced to 21 contests after an appeal. The NHL found that Torres was guilty of breaking three rules for that hit; namely interference, charging, and illegally hitting the head. The NHL is reviewing Torres’ latest incident for the same three violations.

You can see the hit below:

And here it is slowed down:

Torres got a match penalty and Silfverberg left the game. Fortunately, Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said that Silfverberg could have returned, but was kept out for precautionary reasons.